I really am no SEO expert but I try. I am not trying to get my mini sites or “fun” sites to the first page of Google, but my real business. My family’s nursery realized a while ago that yellow book was fading and that thousands per month could be saved if we concentrated on newsletters and working on getting to the first page for local keywords. My father had always been in charge of the website. He’s done it since 1995 and I ‘m pretty sure we hadn’t updated it since then. The website was my Dad’s thing and I never got involved despite the fact I was getting pretty good at the whole web thing. There’s a reason our family’s business is in it’s 5th generation (since 1865) and one of them is let people do what they love, regardless of whether you think you can do better. As long as you’re making money, there are plenty of other things one can do within the business. Last year he finally gave in and turned it over to see what I could do so this winter when changed the look and layout and put a little effort towards SEO.
Ok I really don’t mean SEO, I mean trying different layouts and meta tags. I have always been in the school of simplicity. If my site lists what we do and where we do it and do that often, Google will find it and then people will find it. Problem is, we didn’t do that. As I took over the site I realized we didn’t list the other major town near us anywhere on the site. Despite the fact that 70% of our business is done in that city, we didn’t even mention it. Our metatags had the slogan in it and that was it. A slogan that doesn’t mention anything about what we do. So I went to work
I went old school on the meta tags. I listed 20 things products, services, and cities. Yeah, I know, Google doesn’t acknowledge after 5 terms, or do they. Low and behold, one month later we now rank number one on a few terms and the first page on 18 of the keywords when in Google. My goal was to rank high when you type in the city and then the product. For instance, we are the number one seller of hardwood mulch in the area. Mulch was the last keyword in my metatags. Before we put them in the metatags we were page 18, after…..number one.
Another thing we are trying is setting up minisites with those same keyword domains. Like cityproduct.com. We did that with 10 different domains and all of those will lead back to the main site. They tend to be keywords that I am having trouble reaching the first page or that I would like to own two spots in the first page. The names were all available and $8 X 10 is a small price to pay vs an ad in the phonebook that costs $1200 a month.
So things are going well and I may start asking some of my domainer/seo friends for some advice. I know it would be worth my while to pay someone to optimize it but then again, I won’t learn anything will I?